Wenge As A Neck Wood


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Aug 15, 2018
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I'm building a 8 string bass for a buddy. Im actually on planning the second neck for the build. The first neck was a single piece of mahogany and even with CF stiffening rods it could not handle the string tension. I ended up snapping the truss rod.

I've bought some flatsawn maple I plan to laminate (on its side it'll be quartersawn, y'all know) and I got some wenge to add stringers.

My buddy saw the wenge and wants that as the center chunk of the neck. So maple/wenge/maple. Its an inch thick so it'd be the primary structure of the neck. Do you think it would be up to the tast?

The wenge is flat sawn as well so the grain will be vertical in the neck but I'm still a little worried. I just don't know if it'll be as strong as the maple.



Jun 30, 2015
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interesting thing about flatsawn... it is stronger than qtr sawn. The reason folks oft say to use qtr sawn is that it is more stable ie won't move around with the weather and or twist/bow or so I've read.
If I was going to do an 8 string (bass OR guitar - you never said) I would want to do a crap ton of smaller laminates.... like 1/4-3/8 width. I would also reinforce it with graphite, cf or steel rods. I would also not cut a really thin profile on it, and I would also make the neck really wide. You can gain a lot of strength from a neck by making it extra thick 12-24 while maintaining playability at the lower frets. In theory, most stress is going to be around 9-15.
altho I've been told that wenge is prone to issues with warp/cup/bow/etc... I've never had that issue with it. The boards I have are rock solid straight altho admittedly I'm in a very dry climate. Wenge is an extremely rigid wood - would be ideal for 8 string (I believe ibanez uses it a lot in their lams). Further... when you say maple... there is soft maple and there is hard maple. then there is rock maple (birdseye). All three of those have extremely different abilities in terms of rigidity. don't use soft maple for an 8 string IMO. no expert here so take all with a grain of salt.